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Convenor, NLS Queer Alliance
Student & Member, NLS Queer Alliance

Date & Time

Saturday Sat, 20 May 2023


Bangalore International Centre
7, 4th Main Road, Domlur II Stage
Bangalore, Karnataka 560071 India

What meaning can words offer, what worlds can words build? The Queer community has been thrust into hyper-visibility following the widespread publicity of the Marriage Equality petitions in the Supreme Court. This session is an exploration of how we construct our realities or perceive our lived experiences based on individual and collective understandings of certain socio-cultural norms and phenomena that have a significant impact on our lives. We will do so by focusing on terms, concepts and identities integral to the Queer experience.

Language and vocabulary are an important tool in any social movement and the pervasive power of language is visible in how we write our laws and our stories. The fight for the recognition of rights of queer people seeks to challenge this semantic and linguistic cis-heteronormativity.

Using words as prompts to spark a conversation, students from the National Law School Queer Alliance join us for a conversation exploring the definition of words such as equality, family, joy and so on to ponder upon socio-cultural constructs through the lens of the Queer community. Through these informed voices we gain an understanding of the lived experiences and aspirations of the community alongside legal insights. Speakers will also draw links between pop culture, the law and colloquial language as they seek to reach out to the wider community. This interactive and participatory session will also allow for moments of individual and group reflections.

Join us for this B.Heard session as we create a space to reflect, unlearn, gain new perspectives and expand shared knowledge.

The five key speakers for this session include Dhawal M (Convenor, NLS Queer Alliance), Sarthak Virdi (second year B.A., LL.B. (Hons.) and member of the Alliance) along with three other students who are members of the Alliance.

Related resources and references:
1. India Today magazine cover with Duttee Chand and their partner.
2. Movie posters of Badhaai Do, Ek Ladki ko Dekha.
3. Insta famous Queer couples like Sufi and Anjali, Honeyimhome, Amit and Aditya, Katju and Maneka.
4. Grace and Frankie (TV show).
5. Love and Reparation by Danish Sheikh and
6. On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong.
7. Natchathiram Nagargiradhu.
8. Notes On Dissonance, Opashona Ghosh, Verve.
9. ‘Dating Like a Savarna’, Ravikant Kisana, Swaddle.
10. ‘A Letter to My Lover(s)’, Dhurbo Jyoti, Eleven Ways to Love, Gulzar.
11. ‘Guruswamy and Katju, Your Rainbow Doesn’t Hide Your Casteism’, Akhil Kang and Vqueeram Sahai, Akademi Mag.
12. ‘Caste-ing Queer Identities’, Ujithra Ponniah and Sowjanya Tamalapakula, , NUJS Law Review.
13. Geeli Pucchi (Film)
14. Humiliation: claims and contexts, 2009, Gopal Guru. Introduction, V. Geetha’s and Gopal Guru’s contribution.
15. Clips from “Are you the one?” A dating TV show.


Dhawal M

Convenor, NLS Queer Alliance

Dhawal M (they/ them) is a third-year B.A., LL.B. (Hons.) student at NLSIU, Bengaluru. They are currently the convenor of the NLS Queer Alliance.


Sarthak Virdi

Student & Member, NLS Queer Alliance

Sarthak Virdi (he/ him) is a second-year B.A., LL.B. (Hons.) student at NLSIU Bengaluru. He is a member of the NLS Queer Alliance.

NLS Queer Alliance

The National Law School Queer Alliance was founded in 2015 as a support group for queer students on campus. The Alliance now goes beyond that initial mandate and works to further queer and allied causes. In 2016, the alliance made it to the shortlist of the Herbert Smith Freehills Community Engagement Awards. They have also organized a conference on transgender rights on campus in association with CREA, an NGO based in New Delhi, and have facilitated the painting of a mural supporting trans rights on the NLS campus in collaboration with the Aravani Art Project.

The aim of the Alliance is to make NLS a safe space for the LGBTQ+ community. The Alliance actively engages in political and social discourses related to Gender and Sexual Minorities in India by working in both legal and non-legal fields. NLSQA regularly conducts sensitization sessions for students of the University and also assists various law and other colleges to form similar that ensure student-level support for the LGBTQ+ community.